When workforce operations are disrupted, the results can have a serious impact on your business. This is especially true if your customer service operations are interrupted. With customer service as one of the top areas driving customer satisfaction, continuing to serve customers in a timely, convenient manner is of the utmost importance.
Delivering top-notch service through contact centers in the face of unexpected challenges is not always easy; however, cloud-based communications tools can help set businesses up for success and give them a competitive edge amid any business or economic crisis.
When integrated into a company’s contact center operations, cloud-based communications services, and collaboration solutions such as virtual international toll-free and local phone numbers, and video conferencing tools, can help companies meet several critical needs. First and foremost, these tools can help enterprises and their contact centers better meet their customer demands by allowing them to expand operations, availability and contact options quickly. Cloud-based telecom tools also help businesses meet the changing needs of end users. For example, customers in remote locations are seeking more convenient ways to interact with the companies they do business with.
Further, cloud-based communication tools provide a path for companies to tap larger talent pools and collaborate across borders, supporting remote employees—a growing segment of the global workforce. Though many companies have been expanding their remote workforce operations capabilities over the past several years, it is not too late for businesses to reap the benefits that cloud-based communications tools can offer. Many organizations have recently faced a sudden need to transition teams to work remotely, and in the process are realizing the benefits these modern solutions have to offer.
At a time when many companies are grappling with how their technology investments impact their bottom line, providing the highest quality of customer support must remain a key initiative. Cloud-based communication services and collaboration tools have become a secret ingredient to weathering whatever storm may come to pass—especially when it comes to maintaining contact center operations.
Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) providers and other organizations with remote contact centers rely on cloud-based communication tools to interact with support members and customers. While each and every tool offers its own unique features and capabilities, most of these telecom solutions come with added benefits simply by being cloud-based. Regardless of the solution decision-makers are seeking, they will enjoy a number of additional perks to their investment. The following are several benefits these tools offer to contact center operations.
More Customer Choice
For modern companies, delivering top-notch customer service means meeting customers where they are and offering them a way to get in touch that is comfortable and convenient for them. Maintaining a range of options for customers to get in touch—especially in times of crisis—can make all the difference when it comes to driving customer satisfaction. Convenient and localized contact methods such as SMS, MMS or video calls, will help customers get the help they need exactly when they need it, which can also curb frustrations that come when end users are experimenting with more complicated or new contact methods.
Ability to Scale Operations Quickly
When call center volumes increase suddenly, companies need the flexibility to ramp up their contact centers to ensure they are properly equipped to handle the additional load with minimal interruption. By investing in cloud-based telecom tools in advance, companies can set themselves up to maintain—and even expand—their customer service offerings when needed. These tools become an invaluable asset for businesses when they need to adapt their contact center capabilities to support evolving needs or new regions. In times when contact center employees are not able to travel to a designated workplace, cloud-based tools give them more flexibility to do their jobs remotely. Cloud-based offerings also come with the added benefit of allowing businesses to staff up their contact centers rapidly without having to secure more physical space.
Maintain Connection for Employees
As workforces across the globe have transitioned to remote operations, tools that help employees stay connected to their teams regardless of location are essential. Robust cloud-based telecom and collaboration solutions help remote customer service and support representatives stay engaged with their broader teams. Cloud-based video conferencing solutions, for instance, have been especially effective at doing this by providing a platform for workers to collaborate with team members face-to-face.
Support Remote Collaboration and Productivity
Remote collaboration technology has also played a significant role in helping companies make the transition to a virtual workforce more easily. One of the core offerings of cloud-based communications tools is its ability to facilitate remote collaboration for workers no matter where they are—helping them remain able to continue the essential functions of their job, stay productive and more importantly stay safe. Things like storing and file sharing can be done with cloud-based solutions. True remote collaboration is the ability for employees to engage as a team regardless of their location. Tools that support remote collaboration enhance the processes companies are already performing by making it possible to share real-time updates and communicate while doing so.
Get Ahead of Staffing Challenges
Trends indicate that more and more of the workforce is going remote, with 70% of people globally working remotely at least once a week. A growing number of workers are looking for positions that can meet their expanding preference for flexibility and autonomy over their schedules. Remote work can offer employees and companies a pool of advantages, so it is likely that this shift will continue in the coming years.
Further, with an ever-increasing remote talent pool to draw on, companies will have more options when they need to increase their contact center staff. Businesses that can offer remote jobs will be well-positioned to tap a continuous stream of talent and sidestep challenges of filling on-site roles—gaining an advantage over competitors who have yet to invest in remote technology resources.
Maintain Employee Safety
Recent measures have made working remotely a necessity for health reasons. Companies that have traditionally supported mostly on-site workers have had to quickly transition their on-site contact center teams to fully remote in order to comply with required distancing measures. Without existing tools in place, enterprises have had to face the challenge of pivoting rapidly in order to avoid disruption while keeping their employees safe. Cloud-based communication and collaboration tools have proven to be indispensable to companies who have endeavored to continue their operations while protecting the health and safety of their employees. These resources are invaluable for projecting the health of workers and contributing to the broader safety of the workforce and communities around the globe.
Global enterprises and millions of their employees are finding out how to continue to stay productive and engaged working remotely. Previous skeptics of remote work have had to test their beliefs in order to sustain operations. And more than likely, they have finally realized the tremendous power that cloud-based solutions can have in helping them keep critical business operations such as contact centers afloat.
In the coming months, I expect that more companies will want to embrace technologies that can support remote workers—especially for teams that are responsible for supporting customers and keeping them happy. They will also gain a better understanding of how existing positions can transition to fully remote—a step that will likely set them up for future success.
With the wide range of benefits that cloud-based communications tools can offer, IT providers like carriers and communication service providers (CSPs) should be ready to help enterprises integrate cloud-based solutions, while ensuring minimal disruption to standard business communications and operations.
As they begin shopping for tools that can help them support remote contact center operations, IT decision-makers will have a better understanding about which tools are best-suited for their business and their customers’ needs. Thanks to telecom industry innovations within the past several years, leaders can rest assured that there are a number of excellent solutions from which to choose.
Al Castle is the Vice President of Product and Engineering at Flowroute, now part of Intrado. He brings decades of operational experience in B2B as well as direct to consumer enterprise SaaS solutions.
– Reprinted with permission from Contact Center Pipeline, http://www.contactcenterpipeline.com